VMware Learning Zone

05/05/2019

Introduction

On January 17th, I completed my VMware recertification. Just a few days later, VMware announced it’s new recertification policy, leaving out the mandatory two years recertification requirement. On March 1st, I received the following message from VMware; “As it’s been communicated with our recent changes to the VMware recertification policies, we have identified you as completing your Certification requirements by completing the Expired Recertification Path within the last six months. As a token of appreciation for the extra time and effort it involved, we are providing you a free one-year premium license to the VMware Learning Zone.”

For some reason that also reminded me of the past, after successfully passing a VMware VCP exam, you received an envelope with the certificate and a one-year license for VMware Workstation by mail.

Fig. 2

So time to redeem my free one-year premium license and share my first experiences.

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Creating Dashboards for Vester

03/04/2019

Introduction

In my first post about Vester, I ended the post with a number of items that needs further investigation. On top of my list is some kind of reporting function. After submitting an Invoke-Vester command lots of information scrolls over the screen.

Figure 1. – Output Invoke-Vester

Most administrators will not agree with an unseen remediation of the errors found and desire some kind of overview. It would also be nice to have some kind of overview while running Invoke-Vester as a scheduled job. Fortunately, one of my colleagues (Thank you Alex!) gave me the idea to create a dashboard. As there are many monitoring and dashboards product available like Grafana and Graphite there is also the PowerShell Universal Dashboard module. The PowerShell Universal Dashboard comes in a licensed Enterprise Edition and a free Community edition, documentation can be found here.

Installation is done by installing the module:


Install-Module UniversalDashboard.Community -AcceptLicense

To test UD, run the following code


$MyDashboard = New-UDDashboard -Title "Hello, World" -Content {

New-UDCard -Title "Hello, my first universal dashboard!"

}

Start-UDDashboard -Port 10000 -Dashboard $MyDashboard -Name 'HelloDashboard'

Start a browser and enter URL: http://localhost:10000, this should show this:

Figure 2.

For a nice introduction in Universal Dashboard, please read this post by Nicolas Prigent.

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Tips for writing Vester test files, part 2

20/02/2019

This post is the second part in a series about writing effective Vester test files. The previous part can be found here.

When there is no easy Get and Set

An example, we want to create a test to check the Cluster DPM settings. The Get-Cluster cmdlet can show many properties, however the options of the corresponding Set-Cluster cmdlet are limited. You can see for yourself running the following command:


PS> help Set-Cluster -Parameter *

Commands like Get-Cluster, Get-VMHost, Get-Datacenter are practical, easy to use but have some limitations, like not showing all info and are not blazing fast.

Time to meet the Get-View cmdlet, a bit less user-friendly, but much quicker and very useful. The equivalent for the Get-Cluster cmdlet is:


PS> Get-View -ViewType ClusterComputeResource

To select a specific Cluster, use the -Filter parameter, like:


PS> Get-View -ViewType ClusterComputeResource -Filter @{"NAME"="Cluster01"}

Another way is:


PS> Get-Cluster -Name Cluster01 | Get-View

Time to create the first DPM test. To test if DPM is enabled, execute the following commands:


PS> $Cluster = Get-Cluster -Name Cluster01 | Get-View

And run this:


PS> $Cluster

You can see all properties, note there is “Configuration” and “ConfigurationEx”. Run both:


PS> $Cluster.Configuration
PS> $Cluster.ConfigurationEx

And note the difference, $Cluster.ConfigurationEx has a “DpmConfigInfo” section. The following line will show the current DPM configuration for Cluster “Cluster01”


PS> $Cluster.ConfigurationEx.DpmConfigInfo.Enabled

Enabled DefaultDpmBehavior HostPowerActionRate Option
------- ------------------ ------------------- ------
True automated 4

We can now write the first part for the DPM enabled test.


$Title = 'DRS Power Management enabled'
$Description = 'Enable Power Management DPM'
$Desired = $cfg.cluster.drsDpmEnable
$Type = 'bool'

# The command(s) to pull the actual value for comparison
# $Object will scope to the folder this test is in (Cluster, Host, etc.)
[ScriptBlock]$Actual = {
($Object | Get-View).Configurationex.DpmConfigInfo.Enabled
}

# The command(s) to match the environment to the config
# Use $Object to help filter, and $Desired to set the correct value
[ScriptBlock]$Fix = {
????
}

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Tips for writing Vester test files, part 1

10/02/2019

Over the last couple of weeks, I took a look at the Desired State Configuration Resources for VMware (later more on that…).

But above all, I spent quite some time exploring Vester. Vester can be really useful, and it is relatively easy to create additional test files and get more configuration settings under Vester control. While working on new test files, I gathered some lessons learned that can be useful for others.

Naming Test file and the components

Choose a descriptive name for a new test file. Although test files are organized in folders, when the number of test files is increasing descriptive names can be helpful.
What makes a good name? Refer to something that is known and unique.
E.g. For vCenter Clusters, most settings are related to DRS or HA settings, the output of the following command can be helpful:

> Get-Cluster -Name Cluster01 | select *
VsanEnabled               : False
VsanDiskClaimMode         : Manual
HATotalSlots              : 
HAUsedSlots               : 
HAAvailableSlots          : 
HASlotCpuMHz              : 
HASlotMemoryMb            : 
HASlotMemoryGB            : 
HASlotNumVCpus            : 
ParentId                  : Folder-group-h23
ParentFolder              : host
HAEnabled                 : True
HAAdmissionControlEnabled : True
HAFailoverLevel           : 1
HARestartPriority         : Low
HAIsolationResponse       : PowerOff

E.g. Creating a test file for the HA Failover Level, name the test file: “HA-FailoverLevel.Vester.ps1”.
While working on a test file the following variables also play an important role.
The variable $Title is shown during each run of Invoke-Vester and can be used to provide more information then the title of the test file.

Fig. 1

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Top 25 Virtualization Blogs, News Websites & Newsletters in 2019

07/02/2019

Feedspot, the content reader for reading all your favorite blogs and news websites in one place, has published a Top 25 Virtualization Blogs.

This blog site is rated 20!

The blogs are ranked based on following criteria:

  • Google reputation and Google search ranking
  • Influence and popularity on Facebook, twitter and other social media sites
  • Quality and consistency of posts.
  • Feedspot’s editorial team and expert review

20. Adventures in a Virtual World – Paul Grevink

Adventures in a Virtual World - Paul Grevink

Koedood, Netherlands

About Blog Paul Grevink is an IT Consultant. He is especially interested in subjects concerning Cloud, Virtualization, storage and networking. Paul is specialized in VMware Products, but also has an extended knowledge of Microsoft Windows, Linux and other Open Source products.
Frequency about 1 post per month.
Website paulgrevink.wordpress.com
Facebook fans n/a. Twitter followers 414.

Thank you! Much appreciated!

 


About vCenter Server Folders and how to Copy them

26/01/2019

Recently, while working on a new deployment, it was determined to copy the folder structure from an existing vCenter Server to a new instance.
As the folder structure is complex and the vCenter Servers were located in separated environments, exporting and importing the folder structure seems the way to go.
Before continuing, let’s see how folders are organized in vCenter Server.

Each folder in vCenter Server has properties, which can be observed using one of the following commands:

PS> Get-Folder | Select *
PS> Get-View -ViewType Folder

In vCenter Server you can create Folders directly under the vCenter Object and under each Datacenter. Folders created under the vCenter Object will appear on each of the four tabs (“Host and Clusters”, “VMs and Templates”, “Storage” and “Networking”).
On the Datacenter level, you can create different folder structures for each of the four tabs. After creating a new Datacenter object, vCenter Server creates four hidden folders, named “host”, “network”, “datastore” and “vm”, which function as parent folders for each tab.

In the diagram (Fig. 1) I’ve tried to present an overview for a vCenter Server with two Datacenters (Datacenter1 and Datacenter2) and a few folders like “Discovered virtual machine” and ”Templates”.
On the far left is the root object which is always called “Datacenters”.
The folders marked with a red X are not visible in the vCenter GUI. Visible folders are marked with a blue folder icon. The properties “Name”, “Id” and “ParentId” are shown in the diagram. Each folder is uniquely identified with it’s “Id” and “ParentId”.

Fig. 1

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About Configuration Drift, Pester and Vester

29/11/2018

This topic has been on my mind for quite some time, but it was until recently, when attending a presentation, that the picture became much clearer.
In this post, I would like to share some of my thoughts.

To install and configure vSphere environments, we can use various methods, from manual, all kind of scripting, to fully automated deployments.
vSphere also comes with tools, like Host Profiles which can be helpful. After installation and initial configuration is done, we are not finished. We also want to enforce a consistent configuration, but how?

Again, Host Profiles can be useful to maintain the state of ESXi hosts, but there are some objections. Host Profiles are difficult to setup and maintain (how nice would it be, if you could export / import a Host Profile in a more user friendly .JSON format?). But more important, hosts are only a part of the environment. How about configuration of Clusters, DatastoreClusters, Virtual switches and Virtual machine properties?

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